I have always had a soft spot for baked treats. When I was younger I was particularly crazy about banana bread, but because I wasn’t much of a cook I never tried to make it from scratch. Once I started trying to cook healthier versions of the things I love, I knew I was going to need to try to make a new and improved version of each! Enter Banana Brownie Bread.
I don’t know about you, but I usually end up getting the afternoon munchies at around 3pm. I have always been a big snacker, or as my mom would say I love to “graze,” so eating throughout the day is key for keeping my energy levels up. Over the summer, I was on a kick of eating only raw veggies like carrots and cucumbers as a snack. As the weather gets cold and rainy, however, cold crunchy veggie sticks really haven’t been hitting the spot. A baked treat that goes well with a warm cup of tea was sounding like a much better idea, so I got to work making a healthier version of my beloved banana bread.
Now don’t ask me how I came up with the half-brownie half-banana bread idea that makes this Banana Brownie Bread so fantastically delicious. I wish I could say that it was because I am a magician when it comes to baking and I knew it would work out but that is certainly not the case (not yet, anyway). No, I think the true motivator was that I love banana bread (obviously) but have also REALLY wanted to try my hand at Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies.
I have her app (which I love), and I have been itching to give those a try ever since I downloaded it almost a year ago. So, after deciding that I wanted to have the best of both worlds, I rolled up my banana-bread-loving sleeves and got to work combining the two into something magical.
I’m not going to lie to you – these taste straight up awesome. The banana bread is dense and moist, and the brownie layer is soft and gooey. The result is a texture that kind of feels like the cake layer has a thick, delicious chocolate fudge on top of it. I was pretty worried after I made them that the layers wouldn’t cook properly as one had a leavening agent in it and the other didn’t, but by some miracle the finished product ended up being evenly cooked and just the right firmness.
These are gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free and are chock-full of nutritious goodness. Even though they aren’t made with complicated ingredients, everything that goes into these banana brownie bread squares is super healthy. The brownie layer is full of vitamin A from the sweet potato, magnesium from the buckwheat flour and contains raw cacao, one of the world’s best source of antioxidants. The banana bread layer has flax, which is high in omega 3s and oats, which are high in fiber and protein along with tons of other vitamins and minerals. Because each slice is free from refined sugar and high in fiber, they will leave you feeling full and satisfied, without ever having to experiencing the crash that comes after eating sugary “normal” alternatives. The result? A perfect afternoon snack that will leave you feeling full of energy and ready to take on the rest of your day.
- FOR THE BANANA BREAD LAYER
- 3 medium ripe bananas (around 1.5 cups)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 flax egg
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 3.5 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt (I use Himalayan pink salt)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
- 1 cup gluten free flour blend
- ¾ cup gluten free oats
- FOR THE BROWNIE LAYER
- 2 medium to large sweet potatoes
- ½ of a cup of ground almonds (almond meal)
- ½ a cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour
- 7 medjool dates
- 4 tablespoons of raw cacao
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a 10x10 square pan with parchment paper or spread with coconut oil.
- Peel the sweet potato and cut into chunks. Steam until they are soft and mash easily (about 20-30 minutes).
- Add the sweet potato and dates in a food processor or strong blender. Blend until smooth.
- Prepare your flax egg by combining 1 tbsp flaxseed meal with 2.5 tbsp water, mix and let set for 5 minutes to activate.
- Mash banana in a large bowl. Add all the banana bread ingredients through almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Last add almond meal, gluten free flour blend and oats and stir.
- Add your remaining brownie ingredients into a bowl. Add the sweet potato date mixture and stir well.
- Layer your two batters into your cake pan, with the brownie mixture on top.
- Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly and golden brown on top.
- Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes and enjoy!